Dec. 3, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is introducing an amendment to the Municipal Assistance Act to provide unconditional grant funding for each municipality for 2009. Local Government Minister Bernard LeBlanc introduced the amendment today.
"The current funding arrangement expires at the end of December 2008," LeBlanc said. "Therefore, there is no provision for an unconditional grant amount for municipalities for the year 2009. This is why I am proposing an amendment to the Municipal Assistance Act, in order for municipalities to receive unconditional grant money in 2009."
A commissioner on the future of local governance was appointed last year to conduct the first comprehensive review of local governance in the province in 40 years. Part of his mandate was to review provincial-local government funding arrangements, including grants.
"Acknowledging the fact that the commissioner will likely make recommendations regarding funding arrangements between the province and local governments, this bill will provide unconditional grants for municipalities for a period of one year only," LeBlanc said.
Property tax bases for 2009, which were released recently, are increasing by more than seven per cent on average over 2008. This will generate new revenues for local governments for the coming calendar year.
"Since all levels of government must manage their budgets in keeping with current economic conditions, the grants for each municipality for 2009 will be the same amount as allocated in 2008," LeBlanc said.
Concurrent with these new provisions, the total amounts for grants to municipalities, rural communities and local service districts for the 2009 budget year would be established.
The Department of Local Government provides unconditional grant funding to New Brunswick municipalities on an annual basis.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The list of unconditional grants for each of the 101 municipalities and three rural communities may be found online. MEDIA CONTACT: Daniel Lessard, public affairs, Local Government, 506-444-4693.